Spike Jones on Halloween — My Old Flame

Thanks to MusicProf78 for the You Tube

In keeping with this special night, I thought I’d pass this song along for Halloween, October 31. It’s our old friend Spike Jones again, our musical mad man,  from 1947 with Paul Frees as the voice of Peter Lorre.  The problem Spike Jones faced late in his career is that his music sounded less and less outlandish.  Along those lines, with all the crazy stuff on the news these days, I worry that people might take this record seriously.  Don’t, it’s Halloween.

Paul Frees first gained fame in the age of Radio.  He became the man of a thousand voices, he could imitate anyone. When the radio work dried up, much of his work came from cartoon voice overs and narration. He was an incredible talent.

Peter Lorre was a ghoulish character actor who, as television personality Arlene Francis put it, “had a menacing face  with sad eyes.”  He also had a strange soft and yet menacing quality in his voice which Frees captures perfectly.  One of my favorite movies was The Maltese Falcon starring Humphrey Bogart.  It had a great cast with Peter Lorre playing a big part in the success of that movie.  It was also a career saver for Peter Lorre.

Spike Jones was a one of a kind, perhaps overgrown juvenile delinquent.  He was a great favorite of my cousin Walter Gabrielson.  It looks like the CD is out of print, but you might be able to find a copy of his Hi Fi album Dinner Music For People Who Aren’t Very  Hungry. 

On that album, my favorite is Spike Jones’ version of Dean Martin’s Memories are Made of This.    But, there are no You Tubes available in that version.

Without further comment  until tomorrow…

About Richard Rollo

I am a retired Community College Instructor. I taught Political Science 1 American Government for 22 years in Southern California. I am originally from Northern Minnesota. My earliest years were spent in the living quarters of a rural Duluth Winnipeg & Pacific Railway Depot. Then my family joined the great 1950's migration to Southern California where I joined up with fellow baby boomers in overcrowded schools.
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